Serotonin and Dopamine
Randolph Community College
A neurotransmitter is a chemical message sent from our synapse to dendrites to respond to stimulus. There are many neurotransmitters controlling our everyday functions. Neurotransmitters do everything to helping you from knowing when to get excited to getting out of bed. Two of our most important and well know neurotransmitters are serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters control many of our emotions, both have medicines to combat neurotransmitter imbalances, and too much of either can have adverse affects.
Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine has many responsibilities, some you are not always aware of. Just being born gives you a predisposition to chemical imbalances throughout your brain. Depression can be hereditary, but this means it is hereditary to have a lack of serotonin. Serotonin plays a major role in anxiety and panic disorders. A lack of serotonin can cause a variety of anxiety disorders and panic attacks. A lack of serotonin also causes aggressive behaviors. Dopamine deficiency can also cause depression which is not as widely known. Unlike serotonin this depression will not have anxiety symptoms. Dopamine also aids in controlling motivation. With an undersupply of dopamine it will make it hard to get out bed in the morning with low energy. Dopamine is considered the “love drug” because of the levels of desire and reward it creates. Dopamine is responsible for gambling problems or addiction. All of our addictions are fueled by the chemical dopamine telling us we need certain vices.
Since neurotransmitters are such fickle chemicals there are many medications to help aid in balancing them. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac allow serotonin to rise in the brain and more to be taken into the synapse. It takes a short period of time to build up in the patients system, but treats feelings of anxiety and depression among other disorders....